Ram test, and why 512MB is fine

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Coukos34, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. Coukos34, Mar 1, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011

    Coukos34 macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2009
    With tomorrows impending news (which will unfortunately disappoint most around here), I wondered why people think the iPad needs 1GB of ram. My biggest gripe was with safari reloading pages constantly. I did a test on my iPhone 4 and with 8 full desktop versions of sites open (including larger ones like engadget), I still have over 150MB of ram left (plus I am jailbroken, and have other processes going on as well). I would never have 8 sites open, but even with that, there is still room to have other apps open, without refreshing webpages. Seems pretty good to me.
    Plus with a faster processor making rendering much faster, it seems like a winner to me. People will still complain, but they need to understand that iOS is very efficient and 512 is quite alot. This is not Windows or OSX here. Could it use more for future proofing? Maybe, but the real reason it will need more ram, is when they do introduce a higher resolution display. Apps will have higher resolution images and will need the extra ram. Until then, I see no real reason for more, other than the fact that it would be nice (especially for us hardware geeks).

    Oh and dont even start with comparing to android tablets. It really doesn't matter what android tablets have, android devices have always been doing less with more
  2. VPrime macrumors 68000


    Dec 19, 2008
    London Ontario
    Web browsing isn't the only test.
    Try using a Vnc client, you will see how little ram the iPad actually has.

    There are quite a few resource heavy tasks that are just not that smooth on the iPad.

    I also find when I have a few tabs open in iCab browser typing is very laggy.

    IMO the amount if memory is the iPads biggest Problem... I'd rather have more than than a higher res screen.
  3. Coukos34 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2009
    Yes the current iPad is low, but doubling it is quite a bit more and will be sufficient. Do really think icab will jave this problem on a much faster processor and twice the ram? Sorry i dont think so. Is there always a use for more ram? Sure, but you know apple is not going to add that much as it's kind of overkill at this point for the iPad (in Apple's eyes anyway).
  4. kmanmx macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2011
    The iPad suffers from 256mb, the performance can be a little sketchy at times. 512mb will make it better, generally a fairly good experience. 1Gb will almost certainly totally remove the problem, and the performance will be super.

    That is why they should put in 1gb. I know this, everyone else knows this, Apple definitely know this too. But they won't do it, because thats one less upgrade they can put in iPad 3.

    It makes me laugh when people ask "Why did they not put this feature in ? how stupid". When actually, they are the stupid one. Do people really think all the big guys at Apple are actually stupid ? no they are not. They have a business to run and shareholders to please, they will never make the best spec'd device possible - they always leave room for easy upgrades next year.

    Also remember the critical point, this device isn't some showcase of technology, they actualy have to sell this for a good price and make money.

    So to recap, yes they should put 1gb ram in, yes they should use a retina display, yes they should put it up to 128gb storage, yes they should make it LTE/4G enabled. But if they did that, they'd be charging 7, 8, even $900 or more.

    People like us would say thats probably a fair value. Average joe wouldn't. And average joe is where apple makes most there money.
  5. Coukos34 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2009
    While I totally agree with your general point, to sit there and say with conviction that 512 will improve issue, but 1GB will "solve it", I think is conjecture. You don't know how much the processor and doubling the ram will help. Nobody has tried it. Anyone who thinks 1GB is needed to "solve" an issue, is really reaching. The iPad 1 is a pretty smooth experience with an A4 and 256MB. Can't see why doubling the performance of each of those, will somehow not solve some mysterious "issue".
    Let's face it, we all would rather it would have 1GB, that's obvious, but Apple has a business to run and I guarantee there would be now performance benefit between the two. It's similar to adding more ram to a computer when the software it runs, just doesn't really need it. Does it feel good to have too much? Yup, you betcha. Are you really gaining anything? Sorry but no.

    The addition of a retina display will be what will necessitate the need to move to 1GB, and from what we hear, probably not far off
  6. kmanmx macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2011
    Yeah, it was a bit of stab in the dark i know. But more ram is always better, 1gb is always going to run smoother than 512mb of ram. So ofcourse they should put 1gb of ram in.

    Also you have to think that as soon as developers are gave more ram, they will use more ram, and the ipad will run out of memory just as before. But there becomes a point when the ram will hold more textures, data etc than the GPU and CPU can reasonably handle in realtime applications. That is the point where there will be surplus ram to what is required, and performance will be perfect. And i just can't imagine 512mb being surplus.

    But like you say, if the retina display comes along and apple only put in 512mb.. well we will be in the same situation as we are now :(
  7. Coukos34 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2009
    True, all good points. I agree that developers will always find a use for more ram. I think we need to remember though that developers will need to be making these apps compatible and smooth running on the iPad 1 hardware. I think that is going to keep them from getting "ram-happy" with their apps.
  8. newdeal macrumors 68020

    Oct 21, 2009

    I think 512 will be good for awhile. Even better is just jailbreaking and enabling virtual memory
  9. dadoftwogirls macrumors 6502


    Feb 28, 2011
    512mb RAM is lame. Anything less than 1gb in today's world would be nothing but an excuse for Apple to milk consumers with each subsequent upgrade.
  10. infidel69 macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2011
    Does the current ipad use DDR or DDR2? If the old ipad uses DDR memmory which I think it does and the new ipad comes with DDR2 wouldn't the new ipad have 4 times the bandwidth of the old ipad?
  11. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    Since when did "just enough" become the expectations of paying consumers?

    iPads are fantastic but they're also expensive. Many people will upgrade every 9 months, but most will want a product that is built for several years. So making excuses for why we should only ask for enough gruel to sustain us for another day is ridiculous.
  12. whyhellojoe macrumors member

    Mar 1, 2011
    i've got to agree with you on this one. unless you've got too much $ to burn, why are we expecting "just enough" when we should demand for more?
  13. JulianL macrumors 65816

    Feb 2, 2010
    London, UK
    Good for you, someone is looking at the bigger picture when it comes to overall performance. There's far more to general performance and responsiveness than just RAM size (or CPU clock speed or how many cores it has).

    According to Wikipedia it's DDR for the current A4 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_A4). The RAM package is also currently decoupled from the CPU package via stacked ball grid array mounting so it's also possible that Apple could experiment with tighter integration of the RAM and CPU packaging which could give them the opportunity to be more agressive with RAM timings.

    As well as RAM improvements, I'd also like to see better bandwidth to the Flash storage. That will speed up app cold start times which have a big impact on percieved responsiveness of the device. Also, with the way that multitasking works by ejecting older apps from RAM when needed, I often get cold starts on apps that are in the multi tasking bar because it's been an hour or so since I've used them, or even only minutes ago but I've just come out of a big app that grabbed all the RAM. Even with 1GB of RAM recently launched apps will sometimes still cold start, especially if a game has just run that made full use of the iPad 2's capabilities, so better flash bandwith will help there too, however much RAM is supplied.

    On the RAM issue though, Coukos34's experiment on the 512MB IPhone 4 and Safari is interesting - thanks for doing that Coukos34. I'm already pretty happy with 6 tab browsing on my 256MB iPad (using iCab) so I don't really see a huge need for 1GB at this stage, I agree with the conclusion that 512MB will nail this issue (all other things being equal, like whatever new version of iOS that we get on the new iPad not bloating up too much).

    - Julian

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